Search results for: 'survival skills'

  •  Grizzly Details: A Bear Attack Survivor Speaks

    Do you remember our article from last month, “The Bear Necessities: Resources for Surviving a Bear Attack”? And remember what we said about playing dead only being a good idea in certain situations? Well, the unfortunate woman who was attacked by a bear in Alaska shortly after that post was published has told her story, and guess what? It worked!

    Jessica Gamboa spotted a brown bear cub during a neighborhood jog, and when the nearby mama bear went into defense mode, Jessica went limp. While Jessica did end up with plenty of cuts and a few broken bones, the bear eventually lost interest and left before the mauling turned fatal. Read the whole store here: “Jogger Survives Vicious Bear Attack”.

    According to the expert quoted in “How to Survive a Bear Attack”, “[the] only time playing dead works as a survival technique is if you’re dealing with a brown bear whose attack was a defense—maybe it’s guarding its cubs or food…Simply stop moving and the bear will stop attacking.”

    Good thing Gamboa knew her stuff!

    Another headline from just a few days ago reports, “Montana hunter in serious condition after grizzly bear attack.” While bear attacks are rare, Backpacker Magazine names grizzlies at the top of their danger rating scale, reminding us (oh-so-helpfully) of the animals’ weight (up to three quarters of a ton!), bite force (1,200 lbs), and claw length (more than three inches). If you want to scare yourself in a good way, check out their map of the US divided by each region’s deadliest predator.

     

    ‘Tis the season for close-up wildlife encounters (I found an ant in my bathroom sink just this morning). Brush up on your survival skills before you head outdoors!

     

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, survival skills

  • The Bear Necessities: Resources for Surviving a Bear Attack

    Were you as surprised as I was when you came across the recent story of a bear attacking a woman in Florida? We get a little used to that sort of story out west, but I don’t generally think of the suburbs of Orlando as prime bear country. Shows how little I know about my own country’s ecology, clearly.

    My own ignorance aside, experts are noticing an uptrend in bear/human clashes in parts of Florida, where new housing developments are encroaching on longstanding black bear habitats. National Geographic addresses the issue usefully—and gives an idea or two on how to avoid a similar encounter—in the recent article, “Why Are Black Bear Attacks Up in Florida?”

    So, if bears can invade even Disney World, I suppose this is a good time to brush up on our bear survival skills. And it turns out that what most of us know about bear encounters is woefully inaccurate. For example, I grew up hearing that when a bear attacks, you should play dead. Did you know that playing dead has no affect at all on black bears, and is only effective on browns or grizzlies in certain specific situations? That’s knowledge you don’t want to acquire firsthand!

    Shortly after the recent mauling, ABC News published an article, “How to Survive a Bear Attack,” full of expert advice from park rangers and biologists. This article is a good starting place for learning about bear attacks. It gives an overview of different kinds of bears and their tendencies; good avoidance practices; and what to do in different bear encounter scenarios.

    An even more thorough resource is the website bearsmart.com, maintained by the Get Bear Smart Society, whose object is to minimize conflict between bears and humans. This site tells you what to do if you encounter a bear in the backcountry or in urban setting. Tabs like “Becoming Bear Smart” and “Bear Management” cover topics from “understanding bear behavior” to “safety in polar bear country” (because you never know!). The “Bear Smart at Home” is particularly relevant, in light of recent events, and offers smart tips on discouraging bears from coming on to your property or safely deterring animals who might wander through.

    Spring is optimal wildlife sighting time in my neck of the woods, when hibernators wake up and tasty new shoots and buds tempt creatures into the open. Know your bear safety and enjoy the wildlife from a safe distance!

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Survival, survival skills

  • UPDATE: You asked, and we listened. The All-in-Four 4-Person Emergency Supply is now available!

    A little while ago we learned about the Life Cube—an all-inclusive, inflatable shelter stocked with the necessary food, water, and gear to help a person survive the few days after a natural disaster occurs. The Life Cube, which weighs between 950-1100 lbs., is ideal to be airdropped into areas suffering from catastrophic events. However, although it is a great idea for mass emergencies and agency use, the Life Cube currently costs anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. For many looking to add an all-inclusive, portable shelter to their emergency gear, this may be a little out of their price range.

    We were inspired by the Life Cube to create our own all-in-one portable shelter kit. Rather than focusing on agency use, however, our portable shelter kit focuses more on a personal/family level, only weighing about 71 lbs. and costing approximately $762. Here at Emergency Essentials, we have configured a list of items that would work as a basic all-in-one (or in our case, all-in-four) portable shelter. The all-in-four portable shelter consists of four bags with essential supplies divided among them. These items not only give you shelter, food, and water, but other basic supplies to help a family of four survive for three days after an emergency.

    DIY All-in-Four Portable Shelter

    First things first: Collect your gear. The following list describes what gear is needed to help four people survive for three days in an emergency.

    Each pack gives you more than 2,800 cubic inches of space to hold all of your emergency supplies and gear while providing durability and expandable comfort to stick with you on all your travels.

    Trail Hiker Backpack for a Portable Shelter

    This pack is a great way to include versatility to fit the needs of the owner. Wear the pack on your back, carry it by the handle, or roll it along the ground behind you. This is a great pack for people unable to carry a lot of weight on their back.

    Good hygiene will help keep you healthy and safe during an emergency. This kit provides basic bathing, dental, and toilet hygiene needs for a family of four.

    Family Sanitation Kit Part of our DIY Portable shelter solution

    These simple-to-setup and waterproof tents give you 49-square feet each to spread out and enjoy a good night’s rest.

    Just-add-water breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (plus sides and drinks) give you enough food to feed a family of four for 3.5 days.

    We typically recommend a two-tier approach for treating your water: have a microfilter and purifier. Adding the Katadyn Hiker Pro and Micropur tablets will help provide you and your family with filtered, purified water while remaining compact and lightweight.

    Katadyn Hiker Pro for a  DIY Portable Shelter

    Made from Tritan™ plastic, these bottles give you get extra durability in a BPA-free bottle. These are perfect to take on outdoor adventures or to use along with a microfilter in an emergency.

    This kit includes 397 pieces of first aid gear to help you survive every scrape, cut, burn, or bruise that you or a family member may get.

    These lightweight, pocket-sized sleeping bags unfold to wrap you in a covering that will reflect 80% of your body heat, keeping you warm on cool nights.

    Emergency Sleeping Bags for a DIY Portable Shelter

    These lightsticks are safe, reliable, and easy to use making them fantastic for families with children. Just bend, snap, and shake for a light source that will last up to 12 hours.

    Keeps you up-to-date with communication services, provides 30 minutes of light (with one minute of hand-cranking), and charges your cell phone (including many smart phones).

    Lightweight and reusable, an emergency poncho is a must-have to keep you dry from sudden storms.

    Easily alert rescuers to your location with an emergency whistle.

    This high-quality, BPA-free water container can store 2.5 gallons of water and collapses to easily fit in your pack. It even remains flexible in cold temperatures.

     Reliance Fold N Filter for a DIY Portable Shelter

    Use Sierra cups as bowls, plates, drinking cups, or as cooking and warming pans. Their versatility lets you get more done with less stuff to carry in your pack.

    BPA-free, washable, heavy-duty plastic spoons can be used for every meal you eat during an emergency.

    This kit includes over 172 hours of total warmth. It includes 6 Hand and Body Warmers, 4 Adhesive Body Warmers, and 2 Hand Warmer 2-packs.

    This super-compact stove is simple to use, fully flame adjustable, and stores easily. You don’t even need matches to light it. Requires a canister of Iso-Butane/Propane fuel, which can be purchased locally.

    Volcano Lite Stove for a DIY Portable Shelter

    Stormproof Matches will help you weather any storm. Blow them out, bury them, submerge them in water, do it all over again, and these Stormproof Matches will keep relighting themselves for up to 15 seconds.

    How to Build It

    Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, you just need to pack them.

    Pack #1: Trail Hiker Backpack

    • 1 Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent
    • Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter
    • 4 (6 inch) Green Lightsticks
    • 24 Packets of food from the Gourmet 14 Day Supply
    • 1 Tritan Emergency Essentials Water Bottle
    • 4 Emergency Whistles
    • 397 Piece First Aid Kit

    To make your pack more compact, fit the lightsticks into the outside pockets along with the Wavelength Radio Charger Flashlight, the 4 Emergency Whistles, and the water bottle. The other items will fit in the main compartment of the pack.

     

    Pack #2: Trail Hiker Backpack

    • 1 Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent
    • 20 Packets of food from the Gourmet 14 Day Supply
    • 4 Emergency Sleeping Bags
    • 2 Tritan Emergency Essentials Water Bottles
    • 4 Emergency Ponchos

    Fit the water bottles into the outside pockets. The rest of the materials should fit within the main compartment of the pack.

     

    Pack #3: Olympia 18” Rolling Backpack

    • 4 Packets of food from the Gourmet 14 Day Supply
    • Reliance 2.5 Gallon Collapsible Fold-A-Carrier
    • 3 Sheets (or 30 tablets) of Micropur
    • 1 Tritan Emergency Essentials Water Bottle
    • 2 large Sierra cups
    • 2 small Sierra cups
    • 4 GSI Spoons
    • Warmth Emergency Kit
    • Volcano Lite Stove
    • Stormproof Matches

     

    Pack #4: Family Sanitation Kit

    The last “pack” is the Family Sanitation Kit which comes full of sanitation items for you and your family. About 1/3 of the bucket will still be empty for you to add additional or personal items too. The kit includes:

    • 1 – 6-Gallon Bucket
    • 1 – Bar of Soap
    • 1 – Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid
    • 4 – Toilet Paper Rolls
    • 1 – Box Double Doodie Waste Bags
    • 1 – Epi-Clenz Plus Hand Antiseptic
    • 4 – Fresh & Go Toothbrush
    • 3 – ReadyBath Packets

    Each pack is manageable to carry and there’s extra room in most of them for personal items.

    Upgrades

    Although the basic items will help you survive during an emergency, some people prefer to have items that may make their time in a crisis a little more comfortable. If you’d like to upgrade some of the items in your kit consider adding the following:

    • Headlamps or flashlights instead of the lightsticks.
    • SOL Escape Bivvy in addition to the emergency sleeping bags.
    • One Month Supply of Water in addition to the filter. Instead of just adding a microfilter and purification tablets to your portable kit, try adding a one month supply of water. Water is priceless in an emergency and this item gives a family of four enough stored water to last for a week (drinking 64 ounces a day) in case a water source to filter from is unavailable.

    *NOTE: Upgrading items in the kit will change the price and weight of the pack. It also may require you to rearrange and reassemble how the all-in-four portable shelter kit is packed.  You can, of course, change the way items are distributed among the packs for redundancy in case you get separated.

    To make carrying your all-in-four kit a bit more comfortable, or to add even more space, replace the Family Sanitation Kit (pack #4) with another Trail Hiker backpack, put the kit items in the pack, and lash the bucket to the outside of the pack using [paracord] or another rope.

    Now that you’ve prepped yourself with all the supplies you need to help you and your family survive the days immediately after a disaster, try developing your survival skills with some of our Insight Articles:

     

    --Kim

    Sources:

    http://lifecubeinc.weebly.com/uploads/9/9/4/2/9942328/life_cube_sheltered_delivery_system_user_manual.pdf

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: shelter, emergency preparedness

  • Missing Runner Survives Snowy California Wilderness and all he wants is a Burger!

    As darkness fell and temperatures dropped, Bob Root snuggled deeper into the shrubbery atop a cliff in the California wilderness. For two days in early April, he struggled to survive in the snow, searching for the trail he’d lost track of during a morning run.

    Root had set out early Sunday morning with fellow members of the ShadowChase Running Club, wearing only a light shirt, shorts, and running shoes. However, he soon found himself lost after running ahead to catch up with another group.

    Fox News reported that Root was able to survive on energy supplements and the small amount of water he carried with him. When the cold caused unbearable shaking, Root resorted to compressing and releasing his muscles, and sticking his fingers in his armpits to stay warm.

    When searchers finally found him, there was only one thing Root wanted after this ordeal—an In-N-Out burger.

    Heidi Ryan, a member of the ShadowChase Running Club believes, “Root’s training helped him survive. ‘He has great endurance and that obviously helped him,’”

    To read the rest of the story, check out Fox News’ article, “Authorities say runner who survived in snowy California wilderness craved an In-N-Out burger.”

    You never know when you’ll find yourself in an emergency. Whether you run off-trail, must evacuate your home in the middle of the night, or face some other crisis, it’s important to develop your own survival skills now so you can survive and stay calm in an emergency.

    Root’s training taught his body how to endure, which enabled him to outlast this emergency. Keeping your body fit is a skill that requires time, patience, and hard work, but which in the long run can help you survive in an emergency and have a better quality of life every day.

    Often times survival skills can even come in handy when you aren’t in an emergency. Activities such as campouts, backpacking trips, boating excursions, ski and snowboard outings, and other outdoor adventures are good examples of times when it may pay off to have first aid training, know how to keep yourself warm, or how to stay hydrated—just to name a few.

     

    Check out some of our Insight articles to develop your own survival skills:

     

    Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? What did you do? What survival skills do you think would be helpful during an emergency?

     

    Photo Courtesy of Fox News

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Survival, survival skills

  • Could you survive the Hunger Games?

    As I sat in a packed movie theater watching the premier of Catching Fire, the second installment in the Hunger Games series, I started to evaluate my own survival skills—could I be as resourceful (and resilient) as the main characters, Katniss and Peeta? Would I know how to survive off the land?

    The recent release of Catching Fire on DVD (March 7th, 2014) made me think about how the media portrays emergency preparation. While a lot of things in the Hunger Games are Hollywood-ized, the underlying principles of preparedness can help us fill the gaps in our own emergency plans.

    Survival: Resourcefulness at its Finest

    For those of you who are Hunger Games fans, I have a question: During tribute (contestant) training, which types of tributes does Katniss always seem to migrate towards, becoming their friends and allies in the arena?

    Katniss is drawn to people who have practical survival skills: plant identification, logical/mathematical skills, or cunning curiosity and cleverness. Her focus gives us something to think about in our own emergency preparations.

    While it’s important to know self-defense during an emergency, it’s equally (possibly more) important to know how to survive off the land and how to be resourceful with the minimal supplies you may have.

    Hunger-Games-Style Survival Skills Self-Evaluation

    Take a moment to evaluate your survival skills based off lessons learned in the Hunger Games. Let’s say you only have one tool to work with.

    • How would you get food for yourself or others?

    • Could you cure illnesses or treat wounds using natural remedies?

    • Do you know how to recognize and forage for edible plants?

    • Would you know the various uses for plants (treating illness, dressing wounds, eating)?

    • Would you know how and where to get clean water when there are no fresh sources available?

    • Would you know how and where to build a shelter for safety and warmth?

    • Would you know how to build items to help you survive, using just natural resources? (fire, splints, boats or rafts, tools, fish line and fishing hooks)

    Evaluate the Skills You Already Have

    You might have more survival skills under your belt than you think. For instance, I am really good at finding items around my home and using them to build and create new things. This skill could be transferred to a survival setting and help me create shelters, splints, or fishing hooks.

    Think about the skills you already have and how those skills could transfer to a survival situation. These skills, though small, may help you and your family survive. You may be surprised by what you already know; then take it one step further and learn new survival skills.

    You can start beefing up your survival skills by checking out our large selection of survival skills articles under the [“skills”] http://beprepared.com/blog/tag/skills-2/ category on our blog and [Insight Articles]

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • Each Monday in January, we’re sharing our Preparedness New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. If you’d like to make some Prepping Resolutions of your own, but don’t know where to start, borrow some of our resolutions or use this series to get some ideas.

    This week we're  talking about Survival Skills. Take a look at last week’s resolutions for Food and Water Storage.

    Prepper style New Year's Resolutions for Survival Skills

    Here is what our Emergency Essentials’ bloggers plan on doing to hone their Survival Skills in 2014:

    New Year’s Resolution Prepper Style: Survival Skills

    Sharon

    I resolve to experiment with and learn different alternative cooking skills, such as basic thermos cooking and one-pot meals on a Single Burner Folding Stove with a Heat Cell Canister. I hope to get a Volcano Collapsible Grill with an Oven Lid and learn to use it for both grilling and baking using the Volcano Dutch Oven. I also plan to continue learning how to grow vegetables successfully in pots. (Last summer’s results were mixed: the cucumbers and peppers were great, but the eggplants were so small I kept waiting for them to grow large enough to harvest while they were actually growing old!)

     

    Sarah

    You may or may not know that, growing up, I used to go camping and hiking with my family all the time. As I grew older, I kicked my inner tomboy to the curb and embraced the world of stilettos and manicures. This year I’m letting the pendulum swing back to middle ground and I’ll be spending some more time outdoors, practicing and learning some survival skills (like building a fire or a shelter, orienteering, etc.). I’m also going to do some canning and dehydrating this year, which will be a totally new experience for me. There are dozens of skills I want to learn, but I’m trying to pace myself, so the first thing I’m going to do is a winter camping trip where I’ll practice building an emergency shelter and a fire. (Wish me luck. But if you’re worried about me, also know that I’m absolutely taking a tent. And an armful of hand and body warmers.)

    Angela

    Sometimes my husband acts like he’s a “dead body” and tells me to try to carry him out of a “burning house” (yes, I know this is weird). It’s annoying when he does it, but I fail at dragging him even two feet every time. This makes me think that I need to strength train to be able to get him to safety if something happened. So my New Year’s Resolution for skills is to learn various methods for carrying another person, strength training (so that I can lift more than 30 pounds . . .), and exercising more in case we have to evacuate on foot, or build a shelter.

     

    Kim

    Once upon a time I was CPR and First Aid certified . . . that was like 6 ½ years ago. This New Year, I resolve to relearn (and get re-certified) in First Aid and CPR. I just hit my one year wedding anniversary this last December and it’s made me realize that I want to be able to be self-reliant in protecting my family, if it comes to that. My husband and I ski . . . a lot. By developing First Aid skills, I will be better prepared to take care of my husband if he gets hurt while we’re skiing (before ski patrol arrives, of course). Knowing CPR and First Aid will also help me in the future when I have children. Learning these skills now will give me confidence to heal/help my children when they are ill or get injured.

     

    What type of Survival Skills do you want to develop in 2014? 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • How to teach preparedness to toddlers

    After a year of teaching 3-4 year olds as a Sunday school teacher, I’ve learned it’s hard to get toddlers to sit down and focus for even just 5 minutes! This makes the task of teaching emergency preparedness skills . . . Um, how should I say it . . . DIFFICULT.

    So should toddlers be taught about emergency preparedness? Can it even be done?

    Teaching toddlers emergency preparedness skills is not a lost cause. It can be done, but strategically through repetition and play.

    Repetition and Strategic Play

    According to the MetLife Foundation’s pamphlet, “The Power of Play,” toddlers need movement, action, and repetition to understand the world around them. Repetition “helps children know what to expect [and] gives them a sense of security and control over their world. It also helps them master new skills and boosts their self-confidence.”

    Since toddlers rely on routine to understand the world around them, teaching emergency skills through repetition may be the key to helping toddlers not only to prepare, but to feel more confident when an emergency hits.

    How do I Teach My Toddler Using Repetition and Strategic Play?

    Build Your Own Emergency Kit Activity

    Get a backpack for your 3 or4-year-old. Tell them “this is your emergency backpack” (have them repeat the phrase ‘emergency backpack’). Let them know the backpack is special and should be used only when an adult tells them to use it.

    1. Use FEMA’s disaster preparedness coloring book pgs.4-6 to discuss with your child what an “emergency” or natural disaster is.  Explain it in a way they can understand and not feel overwhelmed about. (See coloring page below)

    FEMA Disaster Preparedness Coloring page

    2. After going through the coloring page, tell your child that they need their special backpack when there’s an emergency.

     3. Have a pile of items (maybe 2-3 for now, you can put more in the next time you play) to put into the emergency kit. Pull one item out at a time. Ask the child to identify or guess what the item is and what they would use the item for. If they don’t know, help them.  Let them put it in the backpack.

    CAUTION: Many of the items will be similar to what they already use daily so it’s important to specify that these are special pull-ups or a special sippy cup that they only use when an adult tells them to get the emergency backpack. Repeat this point and ask/tell them the appropriate time to use each item.

     

    4. Talk with your child about things they’d want to have in an emergency to help them feel happy. You’ll want to include some of their favorite snacks and a blanket or toy in the emergency kit.

    CAUTION: You may not want to put toys or blankets your child is attached to into the bag at the moment but take note of these things so you can bring them or get duplicates to put in later.

     

    5. After you put all the items in the backpack, explain to your child that “we need to put this backpack in a place where we can grab it quickly for an emergency.” Help your child select a place to store the bag, close to the front door.  Make sure they understand to only get this special backpack out when they are told by an adult.

    6. Show the toddler you have a special backpack as well, stored in the same place, or if it isn’t, go move the backpack to the same place. Show them some of the items in your kit.

     

    This is an activity that you’ll want to do often. You can do it when it’s time to replace items or you can do it once every three months, reiterating the same ideas and principles about preparedness. Review the items that are already in the bag, put them back in, and add other things as needed.

     

    Check out the Insight Article, “Special Considerations for Emergency Kits” to help you decide what to include in your toddler’s kit.

    And while you’re at it, check out our other articles about prepping for kids and teens:

    Prepare Teens for Real-Life Disasters  Using Young Adult Fiction

    Survival Skills for Kids: Outdoor Survival Games

     

    Have you tried to teach your toddler about preparedness? What did you do? What suggestions do you have for other parents or caregivers?  Let us know in the comments.

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, family, emergency preparedness

  •  Drowning swimmer: 20 survival tips

    According to Popular Mechanics’s recent article, “How Not to Die: 20 Survival Tips You Must Know,” “accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. men 18 to 50 years old.” What’s most surprising about this article is that many of the unintentional deaths described occurred while the victim was performing an everyday task like mowing the lawn, watching a live baseball game, or getting snacks from the vending machine!

    This article illustrates how easy it is to misinterpret or fail to register signals of imminent danger in various situations. So Popular Mechanics offers its readers signs to recognize these easy-to-miss risks and ways to avoid or survive them. Some of the risks that they talk about include things like electric-shock drowning, ATV accidents, effects of using generators incorrectly, and health-related issues like hypothermia and what can happen if you drink too much water!

    Check out more of the Popular Mechanics article, “How Not to Die: 20 Survival Tips You Must Know,” to learn how to protect yourself from unseen dangers.

     

    Also, to beef up your survival skills check out these articles:

    Preparedness Tips: Portable Generators Need Maintenance?!

    First Aid for Hypothermia and Frostbite

    The Real Signs of Drowning

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, emergency preparedness, survival skills, danger, risks, avoiding risk, accidents

  •  Basic survival skills: know how to build a campfire

    I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to be doing during an emergency is reading an instruction manual. All the gear in the world—and I know, there’s some pretty sweet gear out there—is not going to build that shelter or clean that water by itself. As crucial as stocking up on the right supplies is, we also need to be actively building a base of survival skills to call on in a crisis. We can’t all be Bear Grylls, but the following list and resources offers a good place to start.

    So here is a list of the top Five Survival Skills (or How to Make an Emergency Less Scary) that all new and experienced preppers should know.

     

    1. Water

    Pop quiz: Which of the following will kill you fastest?

    • Lack of food
    • Lack of heat
    • Lack of water

    You guessed it—water should be your #1 concern in a disaster. Storing water will help you at home; purifying water will help you when you’re not close to a clean supply. However, purifying water can also help you at home as well. If officials issue a boil order or you’re concerned about the safety of your at home water supply you’ll want to purify your water. Check out our Insight Article, “Water Filtration and Purification” to learn more. But everyone should know the basics of water collection for survival. Howstuffworks.com has a handy-dandy tutorial about collecting water for survival.

     

    2. Shelter

    Basic survival skills: Building a shelter

    What do dry grass, garbage sacks, and a fallen tree have in common? They could all keep you from freezing. Knowing how to raise your ultra-light, four-man, double-walled tent in under six minutes won’t help you if you’re caught in the outdoors without it. You’ll need to know how to build a backup shelter out of natural resources if you don’t have that fancy tent on hand. Our Insight article, “Emergency Shelter” tells you how to construct 10+ emergency shelters with little or no gear. Learn just one, and you’re better prepared than you were yesterday.

     

    3. Fire

    By all means, keep torches, lighters, and waterproof matches handy. And you’re one step ahead of the game if you’ve been collecting dryer lint or newspaper for tinder. But could you get a flame going without all that on hand? Been a while since Scout camp? Brush up on your fire starter skills by watching one of seven video tutorials from the guys at  (wait for it…) http://howtostartafirewithoutmatches.com/.

     

     

    4. First aid

    We recently devoted a whole blog series to beefing up your first aid skills (check out August 2013 in our archives). Don’t know where to start? Learn the Heimlich maneuver.

     

    5. Food

    This is kind of a cheat category. Being able to eat during an emergency includes a variety of survival skills from hunting and foraging to gardening and canning—and frankly, you’d be doing great if you knew a little about each of those skills. You can become a gardening expert by browsing the “gardening tag” on our blog.  You can also develop your food preservation skills by checking out the “canning section” of our blog as well.

     

    But let’s assume the worst. If you were stranded in the woods, miles from your stockpile of freeze-dried entrees and canned peaches, what could you do? Check out these  list of forage-friendly eats from the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Green, and discovery.com. Before you start foraging in your neck of the woods, get a plan guide and get familiar with local plant life.

     

    These are good starting points to begin developing your survival skills. Pick one thing to learn, get really good at it, and then pick a new thing. Before you know it, you’ll be leading treks across Mongolia and hosting your own reality series.

     

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • G

    Talking with kids about disasters, personal safety, and emergency preparedness could be an emotionally draining task for everyone involved. Playing outdoor survival games may be a good way to approach the subject in a fun, memorable, and safe environment.

    Before or after you play: Talk with your Kids

    Talk to your kids about the types of emergencies or personal safety situations they may encounter and what they can do to be safe. Create scenarios or role plays to act out and come up with solutions together. Here are some survival skills that you could talk to them about:

    • The Family Emergency Plan
    • Emergency Kits (how and when to use each item appropriately)
    • What to do if they are lost
    • What to do if a stranger approaches them
    • Outdoor Survival Skills (plant and animal track identification, building a shelter or fire, using a compass)

    Talking with them about these issues will help them to understand the importance of the games and the reasons why they are playing them. After playing the games, you can even ask them what they learned about emergency preparedness or survival.

    Rules and Regulations for Parents and Kids

    Parents:

    • Don’t try to cover everything in one day!
    • Teach one skill at a time and have a game to go along with each
    • Make sure that games are age appropriate
    • Make sure games are supervised by an adult

    Kids:

    • Show respect to the environment
    • Be kind to the gear that you use
    • Stay within the playing area 

    Let the Games Begin!

    Bases (ages 6-12+)

    This is like extreme hide and seek that teaches you how to use the environment as a natural hiding place (good for hiding from intruders, hiding for safety outdoors).

    Number of People: 6-8 people (the more people, the better!)

    How to play: Select one person to be the seeker (this could be the adult supervising). Seeker picks out 6 “bases” that all the hiders must touch/reach during the game within the playing area. The seeker stands at the last base. The goal for the hiders is to get to all the bases without being caught by the seeker.

    The seeker will count to a certain number each round, as hiders run to hide behind each base. Every round the number of counts will be different. As the seeker counts they can count very fast or very slow using the “dot system.” For example:

    • The seeker will announce the counts before they begin counting by saying “10 Slow” or “3 fast”
    • If the seeker wants to count slowly they will count saying—“one, dot, two, dot, three, dot”
    • If they want to count fast they will say “one, dot-dot, two, dot-dot, etc.”

    If the seeker sees anyone poking out from their hiding place after they are done counting, the seeker will call out their name, signifying that that person is out. The person who gets to the last base first without being seen is the winner.

    Other Survival Skills Games to Play:

    Naturalist Scattergories-http://www.twineagles.org/fun-outdoor-games.html (ages 6-12+)

    One player selects a category (example: types of trees), players sit in a circle and have ten seconds to say a type of tree. Answers can only be said once, the last player remaining in the circle wins. Best with 6 players, but can be played with 2. Can also be played using emergency items (name items in an emergency kit, items to bring on a camping trip, types of shelters, etc.)

    Shelter Skirmish-http://cheaperthandirt.com/blog/?p=45983 (ages 8-12+)

    After reviewing types of shelters and talking about how to make one, have players compete to make a lean-to shelter with items from the yard. After they work for a while, give them items to help such as a few strips of duct tape, some rope, or a poncho. See who can make the best shelter from a couple of items.

    For More Survival Games Check Out:

    For More Resources for Teaching Kids Survival Skills:

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency plan, Survival, emergency preparedness, kids

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